On Eating Your Dessert First

Every now and then, you come upon the wise saying that goes something like this: “Life is short. Eat your dessert first.” I’ve encountered a lot of real-life moments where this saying has crept into my head. There have been trips I’ve really really wanted to take but I didn’t have the money at the time. If I had followed the “eat your dessert first” mentality, I would have gone and I would have worried about the cost of the trip later. Other people did make the decision that way and the trip was beyond wonderful for them, just as I had imagined it would have been for me. Did I make the right choice?

Life *is* short, it’s true. You never know what’s going to creep in on you and make things painful or difficult. However, you also don’t want to do anything that could contribute to anything bad. Sometimes living responsibly means eating all of the broccoli and getting to the dessert the next time you’re hungry.

However, I wouldn’t pitch this entire concept. I would just alter it a little bit. Instead of saying that we should eat our dessert first, what if we tried to look at everything as if it WAS dessert? What if we relished the fact that we have to go to work because that means we have jobs and a steady paycheck? What if we relished the fact that we’re paying bills because that means we can run our air conditioning during this hot weather? What if we relished that teenage kid slamming the door to her room because that means she’s THERE and safe and, well, normal?

Granted, it might be difficult to convince yourself that that big mess of broccoli is really a hot fudge brownie sundae. You’d have to do some real fussing with your brain and your taste buds to make that workable. But even there, it’s possible to relish something, like the fact that you have access to that food, or the fact that by eating that broccoli you’re doing a lot more good for your body than that sundae would do.

I’m not saying there aren’t some things that will just not be able to seem like dessert, but sometimes that just means that we are no longer in our normal humdrum state of being. When things go poorly, we long for that normal day when we were sitting at home while other people were touring the Vatican, right? We wish our biggest problem was deciding whether to watch something on Netflix streaming or to read a book. Those are good decisions and can certainly seem like dessert in comparison to other times. So, why not recognize them as dessert while you’re living them rather than lusting after the “dessert” you think you want most?

What do you think?

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/savaughan/3210789112 via Creative Commons